Standing up for the political consciousness of Delhi’s young and explaining how every young person between 18 and 19 years of age who could be traced was given a voters identity card, Chief Election Officer Vijay Dev on Monday revealed that about 4.05 lakh people in this age group had voters identity cards. The total voter registration for Delhi stands at approximately 1.19 crore.

“The young have broken all stereotypes. They want to vote. They make up more than three per cent of the total voter registrations. There is a rule that only those people who are 18 as on January 1, 2013, are eligible to vote. All those turning 18 after that cannot be given voters identity cards. There are around 2.6 lakh who fall in this category,” said Mr. Dev, adding that there were about 1.18 crore registrations in October 2012, out of which only 93,811 were between the ages of 18 and 19.

“In a year, the registration increased from 0.79 per cent to 3.4 per cent, which is a significant jump,” he said, before explaining the methodology that his office had taken to identify and bring the young on board.

“We first contacted the Directorate of Education and identified that everyone between the ages of 18 to 19 years were either in Class XII or first year of college. Our team went to each of these schools and colleges and contacted the Headmaster or Principal. Applications for voters’ cards were handed out and collected at their schools and colleges, and we even sent them the cards. None of them even needed to make the trip to the local election office,” he said, adding that the response of the youth had even taken them by surprise. “I give 100 per cent marks to the youth in terms of voter awareness and duty. And, for those young people who are not fortunate enough to be enrolled anywhere, we have taken out special camps in certain areas where there are unauthorised colonies, construction workers and manual labourers,” he added, while revealing that his office had more activities planned to rope in the young.

“There will be more celebrities, concerts and even flash mobs extolling the young to come out and vote. Known faces that appeal to young people will be asked to come and talk or perform in certain areas. We will target areas like university campuses as well as those areas which we have identified as low registration areas.”

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